Oh Brave Tank Hero, you were not a great game on the 3DS. For those of you who missed the review, ultimately Brave Tank Hero was a mediocre affair on the portable system - the flawed game design and an array of oversights ruined what could have been a good title. Now, Natsume has released the game for the Wii U eShop; will a new venture into the big screen help the title reedem itself?
The short answer is: no. Brave Tank Hero on the Wii U is just a poor port of the 3DS version.
With the exception that it brings six extra missions, a local multiplayer mode and a boss rush mode.
The six extra missions add nothing to the narrative, gameplay or experience of Brave Tank Hero. In more cases than one these new missions reinforce the flaws of the game.
First of all the inclusion of these missions throughout the main campaign breaks the flow of content from the original 3DS version, to bring a total of 56 missions. It sounds baffling, but the lack of progression of the 3DS title now feels broken due to the inclusion of these extra challenges.
There is one mission in particular that requires the players to destroy a pair of enemy tanks that are behind a, shall we call it, a Great Wall. There is no access to the area behind this wall, all the player can see is a couple of blips in the radar and the crosshair that pop ups thanks to the auto-lock system. The only viable solution to this predicament is to shoot between the gaps of the wall and hope for the best that the enemy tank doesn't move. It becomes incredibly frustrating how a silly wall makes a mockery of the player holding the controller.
Of course, the game had to include one ultimate challenge. Right at the end of the campaign there is one mission that requires the player to battle all of the bosses in one go. This boss rush mode that takes place in a small arena exposes the flaws of the controls and the barebones AI of the game. The Wii U has a second stick and an extra set of shoulder buttons that go unused; problems with the camera could have been solved if the 2nd stick was integrated as part of the control scheme.
Not even the local multiplayer can save this tank from, ahem, tanking. There are two different ways to play with a friend/relative/worst enemy (because let's be fair, only your nemesis deserves to suffer through this ordeal we call Brave Tank Hero), but the developers opted for a split screen view instead of taking advantage of the two screen set up of the Wii U.
The first multiplayer mode is a competitive match in which the two players face each other in a battlefield, but this being Brave Tank Hero, there is a caveat; it isn't a one vs one affair. The sad truth is that these are not maps specially designed for the multiplayer mode - these are simply the same maps found in the single player portion of the game that have been stripped of their goal, but left all the assets that were part of the map, including enemies. Players have to avoid enemy fire and the other player's fire at the same time. It is incredibly frustrating, especially when the match ends after 5 seconds.
The second multiplayer mode is simply a boss rush mode. It feels just like the same boss battles from the main campaign but with an extra ally, which helps shorten the agony of having to battle these bosses again.
Instead of focusing on fixing the flaws that pestered the 3DS release, it appears that the developers went with the "Quantity over Quality" philosophy. That decision backfires. Nothing has changed between the two iterations of the game, both share the same flaws and the few virtues the 3DS version had have now become problems - textures have been stretched out and the 3D models now look rather bleak. What is unacceptable about this port is that it never tried to take advantage of the Wii U features and capabilities.
Don't waste your hard earned money on this budget title when there are better games out there. Brave Tank Hero for the Wii U makes the 3DS version look like a decent game. Unfortunately, it's a disappointing port of a mediocre game.